As Chicago's City Council approved city ordinances on permits for parades and demonstrations, two anti-NATO/G8 protesters were removed from the hallway.
A rowdy group of between 80 and 100 protesters gathered in the hall Wednesday during the council's first meeting of the year, yelling "Let us in."
As Ald. Joe Moore offered reasons for why parade changes are needed and that fines for resisting arrest haven't been changed in 40 years, protesters screamed, "We vote no." Their voices were clearly heard by those inside the meeting.
They grew even louder as Ald. James Balcer (11th) asked the council for "rights of police officers to be respected" and Ald. Ed Burke (14th) recalled being a cop in 1968 and how they were "overworked and over-stressed."
At one point, the council was interrupted by protesters, and police escorted several out.
The City Council’s Committee on Special Events voted 7-3 Tuesday to amend the city’s ordinance after hours of testimony from 1st Amendment activists who said it would restrict their right to protest. The full council voted them in Wednesday.
The approved ordinance establishes separate rules for parades, athletic events and public assemblies. It also increases the minimum fine for violating the ordinance from $50 to $200 (the maximum stays put at $1,000), and limits the hours for using amplifiers or bullhorns from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The fee for a parade permit will increase from $35 to $50, with a waiver of fees and insurance for “1st Amendment activities.”